Baer is well educated and has done well in his professional life, and yet he has always struggled in his relationships. He had been strung out on a woman that had recently broken up with him at the time he showed up in one of my classes. He has a long history of abusive relationships. His first girlfriend tormented him emotionally during the five years they were together and ended up cheating on him. His emotionally volatile ex-wife, with whom he has two children had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Baer was smoking at that time and had also been taking anti-depressants for years to help him cope emotionally.

Baer made tremendous progress during three months that we worked together. He was able to let go of the woman that had recently broken up with him and had gotten to a much better place emotionally. He became much calmer and more relaxed as the deep emotional wounds began to heal. He also stopped smoking.

I was excited to see the progress Brett was making and hoped that he would continue to move further along in his process of healing. I shared the details of my own journey and explained the various stages of the healing process. Baer told me after a few months that he would have to wait to continue with the healing sessions because his child support payments were much higher during the summer months when his kids were out of school. I called to check in on Baer after a few weeks and never heard back from him.

It’s possible that Baer, like so many people in our modern day world failed to grasp the full extent of his wounding and the healing process that needed to take place. Many people mistakenly assume that they’re done healing once the immediate crisis blows over and yet they have just barely scratched the surface.

Baer is deeply wounded, and yet we only had the opportunity to facilitate the healing of the surface most levels during those few months that we worked together. Much of the stress, trauma, hurt and confusion remains trapped within his body. All of these things will invariably surface in time. They will continue to manifest in his intimate relationships. And there’s always the possibility that these unresolved issues will eventually play out in the relationship with his two children. They will to some extent internalize the painful emotions that Brett continues to hold within along other aspects of his woundedness. The pain, trauma and other stresses held within will eventually express themselves through Baer’s physical body.

Growth orientation and the lack thereof

One of the most difficult realizations I’ve come to over the years is that the vast majority of people are not growth oriented. Most never even begin the healing process. And of those who do, only a small percentage actually manage to stay on the path. Some people initially come to me seeking assistance because their lives and emotions are in a state of upheaval or their bodies are falling apart. They want me to resolve the crisis playing out in their lives, remove their emotional and physical pain and heal their afflictions and yet many are not all that willing to address the underlying issues.

People who have mistakenly assumed that they have healed once the storm blows over have on numerous occasions said to me “I’m fine now.” They may have experienced some degree of life transforming change as their bodies and minds healed from some specific health concern or the crisis that was causing them so much distress at that time in their lives. Many of these individuals fail to understand is that they have barely gone a few layers beneath the surface.

The deep emotional wounds are in many instances still readily apparent. And many continue to hold tremendous amounts of fear, anger, feelings of loss and other toxic emotional residue within their bodies. There may also be extensive damage in their physical and subtle bodies. I often wonder how people manage to make their way through life with so little awareness of their own body – mind. And what is it that makes people willing to settle for the limitations that are preventing them from realizing their true potential or allowing them to live the quality of life they could truly enjoy?

Moving along a horizontal or vertical plane

Those of us who live in this modern day world have a tendency to move through our lives along a horizontal plane. And in doing so we’re operating at the very surface most levels of awareness. We tend to dabble when it comes to healing and spiritual development. Our short attention span predisposes many of us to sample or try out all kinds of different practices or healing modalities without ever giving any of them a chance to do what they can actually do for us.

It’s important for us to understand that the habits that we’re establishing as we spend more and more time online will invariably spill over into other aspects of our daily lives. It’s a common practice for those of us who spend time surfing the net to click from one page to another in a matter of minutes or even seconds without ever taking time to absorb the content we’re viewing. The way many of us are approaching healing and spiritual development is comparable to clicking through from one link or web page to another. It’s turning us into a scattered, shallow and confused people with an air of spirituality who bounce mindlessly from one thing to another.

Many of us have developed a media induced attention deficit. Our distractability is further exacerbated by our use of the Internet, texting, smartphones and other technologies that are making it increasingly more difficult for us to maintain the degree of focus necessary to facilitate the healing of our bodies and minds.

We’re finding it difficult to keep our attention focused for any significant length of time. And we become bored very easily and so we keep jumping from one modality, practice, spiritual path or teacher to another. We’re into this practice or modality one day and then tomorrow and the day after that and next week we’re onto whatever else happens to capture our attention and then another something after that. Many of us never stay with anything long enough to derive any significant benefit or develop any degree of proficiency, let alone mastery.

When our attention jumps all over the place, we cannot help but skitter along the surface of life. Consequently, many of us are devoid of any real depth, power or substance. And we never really get very far in terms of healing and spiritual development.

People that have grown up in the ancient traditional cultures and have devoted themselves to various spiritual disciplines are more likely to move through their lives on a vertical plane. Throughout history, it has been common for those following these ancient spiritual paths to spend hours a day doing various forms of intensive practice. They continue to work with many of the same practices over the course of their lives. And by doing so, they are continually working to develop a greater foundation and deepen their connection to source. Many developed extraordinary gifts and capabilities as a result.

Cultivating health and wellbeing

Ancient traditional cultures found in places like China and India possessed a greater understanding of the connection between the body, mind and spirit. Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic Systems of medicine placed a tremendous amount of emphasis on cultivating health and wellbeing. They made use of a wide range of therapeutic interventions to maintain good health and to promote longevity. People in various ancient traditional cultures around the world possessed a vast wealth of knowledge of medicinal plants. Medicinal herbs and specific foods were used to facilitate the healing of a wide range of ailments. Many people practiced disciplines such as Chi Gong, Tai Chi or Yoga on a daily basis to strengthen and nourish the internal organs and the body as a whole, to cultivate greater awareness and deepen their connection to the force of creation.

Many of us living in this modern day world are searching. We have gained a greater awareness of the importance of diet and exercise in maintaining a healthy body and mind over the past few decades. But a large percentage of us are doing very little to maintain our health. In many instances, we wait for things to get so bad before we seek out any kind of medical or therapeutic intervention. We may finally get around to addressing the crisis playing out in our lives or manifesting in our body – mind once our level of discomfort exceeds our threshold for physical or emotional pain. Irreparable damage may have occurred by the time we reach out for help.

What Happens When You Stop Taking the Steps Necessary to Facilitate Your Continued Healing and Growth

Stop and think for a moment about what would happen if you were to stop brushing and flossing your teeth and going to a dentist for periodic cleanings and checkups. Your gums would recede and you would experience significant bone loss. The acid from the food you’re eating that sticks to your teeth would cause tooth decay and then you end up with lots of cavities. And as those cavities became larger you might be needing crowns or have to undergo root canals to save your teeth. And at some point you would need to have teeth extracted.

Missing or rotting teeth are unsightly. Some of us are more likely to take care of our teeth because we’re more aware of them due to the fact that we usually see them whenever we look in the mirror. And we know that other people are looking at our teeth whenever we open our mouths to smile or speak.

Now imagine what kind of shape your body would be in if you were to stop exercising

You wouldn’t be taking as much oxygen into your body if you were to stop exercising. That would impede your ability to think clearly while having an adverse effect upon your emotional states. And that would make you more prone to anxiety and depression. Your muscle cells would get smaller resulting in a decrease in muscle mass and strength. Fat cells would accumulate in various parts of your body and then get larger. Your risk of developing high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases also increases.

What happens when you stop taking steps to heal and develop your body and mind

The process of growth slows down and in many instances stops if you take extended breaks from or abandon the process of healing and spiritual development. You will very likely remain stuck at whatever stage you were in at the time you stopped taking the steps necessary to facilitate your healing and personal growth. All the stresses that you internalize and any corresponding emotional response causes your physical and subtle bodies to break down, thereby accelerating the aging process.

Learning to numb and disconnect ourselves

Many of our problems stem from our having learned to disconnect from our feelings, physical bodies and the realities of our everyday lives from the time we came into this world. We fail to understand how numbing and disconnecting results in a loss of awareness and deadening of consciousness. Numbing ourselves to feeling adversely impacts our cognitive and emotional states and our physical bodies. We become so numbed and so divorced from ourselves that we lose touch with the authentic core of our being residing deep within.

Many of us have become so desensitized and therefore do not realize the volume of stagnant emotional residue and other stresses we have stored within our bodies. We possess little, if any awareness of our own subtle bodies consisting of the chakras and layers of the aura and we cannot sense how they have failed to develop or how they’re breaking down and how that compromises the functioning of our internal organs and systems. Many of us suffer unnecessarily due to our lack of awareness because it prevents us from adequately caring for ourselves.

The practices I’m teaching and the individual healing sessions reawaken these parts of our consciousness while activating the innate healing intelligence residing within the body-mind. Many of us are incredibly resistant to taking the steps necessary to facilitate our healing and personal growth because in order to do so, we have to experience all those feelings and address the issues we have worked so hard to push outside of our awareness.

And then theres the stresses of everyday life

I sometimes ask people to think for a moment about the stresses they go through over the course of a day. I then ask them to multiply these stresses by all the days, weeks, months and years of their lives. The body – mind holds onto the emotions and other stresses that we have not been able to process. These stresses continue to accumulate within our bodies over time.

Many of us are stressed out by our work and finances. We will at times suffer the pain of a breakup, divorce and the death of loved ones. We will over the course of our lives suffer from a range of health related issues. And then we’re faced with various other challenges and concerns on a daily basis. Stressful situations and other difficulties that we encounter along the way elicit a whole range of emotional responses. We’re not going to completely process the emotions pertaining to these stressful life events on our own.

Emotions such as sadness, grief, anger, frustration and the stresses of everyday life that we fail to digest turn into a heavy stagnant presence that accumulates within the body. Much of the heavy stagnant emotional content resulting from past wounding experiences is held in a putrefied state. The body – mind cannot digest this content on its own. This stagnant residue impairs the functions of the internal organs and causes the physical and subtle bodies consisting of the chakras and layers of the aura to break down at an accelerated pace.

Those of us who have been emotionally, physically or sexually abused are most likely holding a lot of additional stress and trauma within our bodies. Traumas that we internalize never just go away. These traumas in many ways act like an infection in that they incubate within while doing considerably more damage as they spread throughout the body.

Our bodies also hold onto traumas such as those resulting from surgery or an automobile accident. Our body – mind’s innate healing intelligence becomes so compromised whenever we experience such a severe shock to the system that it may not be able to fully get it self back on track after experiencing such a crisis. 

The body – mind is in many ways like a hard drive of a computer in that it continues to hold onto the impressions of all that we’ve gone through and any subsequent physiological and emotional response. Our bodies are still carrying much of the struggle, hardships, hurtful experiences, disappointments and traumas from our past that we’re not able to digest. People find it difficult to heal, let go and move on because their body – mind continues to hold onto the day to day stresses, emotions and traumas that it’s not able to process. Our body – mind consciousness contracts around these daily stresses, fears, hurts, disappointments and traumas. Our life force slows down and becomes very dense and stagnant whenever we go into a contracted state.

What many people fail to understand is that these deeper layers of historical stress resulting from past wounding experiences are going to be making their way to the surface over time. We also have a tendency to attract experiences into our lives that put us in touch with these wounds and the emotions attached to them.

Our inability to process our life experiences and emotional responses is compounded by the fact that a large percentage of us are either self-medicating with alcohol and other recreational drugs. Or we’re on antidepressants, antianxiety and psychotropic medications and/or we’re taking analgesics to relieve our physical pain. And some of us are combining alcohol and other recreational drugs with pharmaceuticals. The recreational drugs and pharmaceuticals we put into our bodies greatly impair our body – mind’s ability to digest our life experiences and our subsequent emotional responses.

Intensive daily practice and therapeutic interventions

You need to be working with various forms of intensive practice on a daily basis and making use of the therapeutic interventions that facilitate the healing of your body – minds at regular intervals to ensure your continued healing and development.

Your life experiences and any subsequent cognitive and emotional responses you have to them need to go through a process in which they are digested. Working consistently with the practices I teach will awaken the innate healing intelligence residing within your body – mind. This healing intelligence mitigates much of the wear and tear of daily life by helping you to digest your life experiences and any subsequent emotional response.

You need to be making use of the therapeutic interventions that will facilitate the processing of the stresses that you are not able to fully process on your own. You also need the consistent intervention of a gifted healer to facilitate the healing of the wounded parts of the self so that you can continue to heal and grow as an individual.

The presence working through me during the individual healing sessions transmutes the heavy, stagnant and traumatic emotional content that you are not able to process on your own in such a way that they can be digested and utilized as fuel for growth. The wounded parts of you heal and can then be integrated as a functional aspect of the self. Damage within the physical and subtle bodies is also repaired.

You are truly fortunate if you have the opportunity to work with those of us who possess these rare gifts of healing. The changes that take place within you as a result of the individual healing sessions will enable you to develop greater resilience. You will be better equipped to handle the challenges and setbacks of daily life and bounce back more readily. The cleaning and vitalization of your life force and the body’s internal organs will enable you to maintain a more youthful quality. The deep level processing of the emotions and life experiences that takes place during these sessions also creates a momentum for growth and a fluidity within your body – mind. You will gain a clearer sense of purpose along with the resources needed to realize your true potential.

Finding our path and then staying on it

Psychotherapy gave me an intellectual understanding of why I was suffering so terribly when the traumas of my childhood and adolescence surfaced during my mid-twenties. But it did nothing to alleviate the horrible pain that I was experiencing. I somehow had an instinctive sense that led me to breathe softly and deeply while fully immersing my awareness in the middle of the painful feelings and sensations. The innate healing intelligence residing within my body – mind began to facilitate the healing of the deep emotional wounds. Meditative practice alone wasn’t enough because the traumas that I had internalized had become so deeply ingrained.

I kept myself open to any approach to healing within reason that held promise. I explored all kinds of practices and healing modalities and continued with those that proved to be most effective. I jumped whenever the opportunity to work with a gifted healer presented itself. I always felt lighter afterwards as though the suffering that had become so much a part of my body – mind was being transmuted. There were also times when the healing sessions brought up a lot of intense emotions that I had to process. I needed much more consistent work, but often had to wait six months to a year between sessions, because these healers didn’t come around very often.

I had trained for a few years with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe during my early twenties. I remember thinking around the time I turned thirty about the Kiowa doctors and the extraordinary healing gifts and powers they possessed. These doctors received additional gifts of healing and became more powerful by going through the vision quest, a practice that involves fasting alone in the mountains for four days and nights without food or water. I had a strong sense that I needed to return to Oklahoma to go on the vision quest.

I started returning to the Wichita Mountains in the fall of 1993 to go on the Vision Quest. I have been consistently going back in the spring and fall since that time. I can feel the layers of emotional body armor being dissolved and then digested with every very vision quest I go through. I experience a greater sense of connectedness to the higher power as that happens and that enables me to be a greater conduit for the presence working through me that facilitates healing within the bodies and minds of others.

I started training with Sifu Li Tai Liang in the Internal Martial Arts of Xin Yi Quan and Baguazhang which have their roots in Taoism. I usually train with Sifu on a weekly basis whenever I’m in New York and then I do several hours of intensive daily practice between training sessions. Training in Xin Yi Quan and Baguazhang is not only valuable in terms of self-defense. It has also given me a whole additional systems through which I can further develop my body – mind. All these forms of practice and therapeutic interventions compliment one another.

I have come a long ways as a result of all the hard work. Healing the traumas of my past has given me access to so many more resources and has put me in a much better space. I have never thought for a moment that I’m all done healing. I have always assumed that I will progress so much further in terms of my own healing, the development of my body – mind and live a fuller and more meaningful life as I continue to work with the practices and interventions that have made it all possible.

How many sessions do I have to do?

I find it incredibly difficult to relate to the mindset of people who ask me “How many healing sessions do I have to do?” The questions I often ask myself are “How many hours of intensive practice can I possibly get in?” How many hours of deep tissue bodywork, yagyas, individual healing sessions with gifted healers and vision quests can I possibly go through?” I make time to do more practice. I jump whenever the opportunity to work with a gifted healer presents itself. And as I mentioned earlier in this chapter, I have been consistently returning to the Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma in the spring and fall to go on the vision quest.

The more practice and healing interventions I do, the more layers of body armor dissolve. My overall level of awareness increases as my sensory capacity expands. The infrastructure consisting of the chakras, layers of the aura, brain and other internal organs become more highly developed and I experience progressively higher degrees of body – mind integration. I develop a stronger connection to the authentic core residing deep within and the higher power. I become more resilient and gain access to even greater resources. And I become more capable in different areas of my life.

With every hour of practice, healing session or vision quest, I am taking another step forward in my own process of healing and the development of my body – mind. I’m willing to make this investment in myself because I’m committed to doing everything I can to remain healthy and vital and to be continually developing my own body – mind, realizing my true potential and fulfilling my life purpose. I understand that this process is a lifelong journey.

When it comes to healing and developing one’s body – mind, more is better. I’m always wanting to know how much further can I possibly go. And I’m willing to make use of any tools or resources available to help make that possible.

Getting to a comfortable place in life

People who want me to tell them when they will be done healing may lack understanding of their body – mind and it’s innate healing process. In many instances it is also an indication that a person is not motivated by any kind of desire or commitment to heal and develop their bodies and minds. They’re more interested in getting to a place where they feel comfortable in their lives. And when it comes to healing, many want to do just enough to stop the crisis so they can go back to what is comfortable and familiar.

Many operate with the assumption that says “I’m not in pain, so that means I’m in a good space. And if I’m in a good space, that means I’m all done healing.” That accounts for the fact that many of those who seek out some form of healing intervention disappear as soon as their symptoms abate.

Our daily experience of life may not be all that pleasant, and yet many of us have grown attached to what is familiar. And then we become very resistant to moving beyond our comfort zone. It’s important for us to understand that we cannot sit still for very long without becoming stagnant. We’re either sliding backwards or moving forward in our development. Many of us fail to realize that our fear of change causes us to shrink into an ever smaller box. That lack of movement leads to stagnation. And stagnation is a form of slow death.

I consider myself to be very fortunate to have trained with a traditional Native American  doctor, a master from China and to have spent time with exceptionally powerful individuals from other ancient spiritual traditions. These individuals have served as role models and inspirations for me.

The concept of being done healing and developing one’s body and mind would be inconceivable to those who have gone through intensive training in the ancient spiritual disciplines. Those who attain mastery in the Internal Martial Arts of Xin Yi Quan and Baguazhang typically spend hours a day practicing specific fighting forms along with the their corresponding Chi Gong practices to build greater internal power. Buddhist Monks, Indian Yogis and other spiritual adepts spend hours a day doing various forms of intensive meditation practice. Native Americans would participate in the sweat lodge, sun dance, vision quest and other intensive ritual practices over the course of their lives. They also sought out the intervention of their traditional doctors and maintained lifelong relationships with them.

There is no such thing as done. Those of us who are truly on the path never stop. We just continue to work with the practices and interventions that facilitate the ongoing development of our body – mind in order to attain progressively higher levels of self-realization. We understand that the process of healing and spiritual development is a never ending journey.

©Copyright 2017 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, creation and contact information intact, without specific permission.

Ben Oofana is a healer who began his training with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe. Call (913) 927-4281 to learn more or to schedule an individual session.